London Design Festival, From the Design Captial of the World

By Iris Farmer

There’s no better place to celebrate design than the design capital of the world, welcome to the London Design Festival 2023. From feeding your inner child to learning how to incorporate design into creating a better world for those to come, the 2023 design festival covered it all. Read more in London Design Festival, From the Design Captial of the World.

Take a deeper look into the most common trends and themes, and catch up on everything you may have missed from this hectic yet creatively fulfilling week.


Play is a need that we all have, young or old, it is just as important as anything else. As they say, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. The act of play gives people a comforting outlet to express themselves and often is a better tool for getting to know someone rather than just a plain conversation, just ask Plato.

““You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” – Plato

LEGO Piece Garden

Photo: Sarah Rainer

A collaboration between LEGO and creative media brand It’s Nice That, invited everyone, no matter your profession to come and experience both LEGO’s Adults Welcome range and their Botanical Collection. The goal of this workshop was to help evoke the child-like wonder that lives inside everyone, and what better place to do so than the LEGO Piece Garden which was built to look like a community garden in full bloom.

Photo: Sarah Rainer

Botanic Dreams

Hosted and created by Vivian Yang at the Barbican Centre, what’s real and fanciful combines. Using AI technology, nature therapy, and game therapy a safe space is created where one can focus on healing their mind and spirit. A beautiful landscape is created using renderings of the Barbican Centre which is transformed into a whimsical, colourful, futuristic nature environment. This project pushes the boundaries and explores the possibility of using VR as a healing tool using play and gaming therapy.


Connecting with nature is a powerful thing, it’s where we all come from. Sometimes, the best place to find inspiration is through strengthening our understanding and relationship with the planet. Humans didn’t invent design, nature has been designing patterns in wood, vines, plants, landscapes, clouds, dirt, and sand for thousands of years, we can just take notice and echo these design qualities in our own work.

Fierce Energy: Artist Talk by Ruup & Form

In this talk, Naomi Mcintosh and Rachna Garodia took a closer look into the beauty of seeds. They discuss their thoughts on the life cycle of plants, growth, how to use nature in design, and more. Most importantly, Naomi and Rachna’s work shows the power that seeds hold, their potential for life is displayed in both of their works as they use nature to create their works.

An Encounter with the Soundscape of the Future – Hypernature

An immersive audiovisual project, Hypernature shows how man-made noise and climate change affect soundscapes in nature. Through this project, one can hear the difference in the sounds nature makes pre- and post-climate change. A VR-type activity allows you to be completely immersed in the sounds of nature, specifically birdsong.


Sustainability shouldn’t be a trend, but sadly these days “green-washing” (when companies spend more money marketing that they are sustainable rather than spending their money on actual environmental efforts) is becoming more and more common. Here we will take a look at a few exhibits and workshops from brands that are actively attempting to leave the world in a better place than when they started.

Designing for the Climate Emergency

As much as one can try to help the world, environmental change can’t happen on a person-to-person basis, there needs to be a change in how we live, and in how our cities work to aid us and the climate. In order to help the people in the city and the world itself, Wandsworth Council set up a talk to discuss the role we each play in obtaining a Net Zero London. Artists, academics, and urban designers all come together to imagine how design can help achieve a sustainable future for London.

Microplastic In The Thames River

London residents rely on the Thames for 70% of their drinking water, one should hope the water remains clean and free of damaging microplastics but that is not the case. Designers Lu Zheng and Jinxiu Chen created a data visualisation project to demonstrate just how many microplastics Londers are ingesting through the Thames. The goal of this demonstration is to have citizens visually see the impact of pollution rather than just hearing the facts and ignoring them. They implore us all to focus on more sustainable and healthy life choices.


How we live and what our surroundings look like have an immense impact on our mental health. How can we use interiors and design in a way that stimulates our minds while at the same time giving us space to relax and obtain inner peace?

From Doll’s House to My House: Exploring Health and Wellbeing in Small Spaces

William Bracewell, Toshiki Hirano, and Richard Beckett all come together to create a live probiotic workspace experiment. This experiment focused on combining architecture, science, and medicine to find a way to balance the way we live in tiny spaces. Since the pandemic, it has become common to live in over-sanitised living conditions, which is detrimental to our health. How can we make our spaces serve us in all aspects, involving our mentality, health, and comfort all in one?

Michael Wilford: A Legacy in Colour

This exhibition celebrates Michael Wilford and the future of colour in architecture. According to Michael, Colour brings us into a new dimension, and with it comes joy, and pleasure. He paid homage to the architect by showcasing many of his works, including the Music School in Stuttgart, which earned him the Stirling Prize. Photographs taken by Richard Bryant displayed the famous buildings in all their glory. Michael Wilford believes that material, texture, and colour are inseparable, and building in colour is building in success.

Misc. Workshops

The Localist Cafe

Immerse yourself in local creations. At the Localist Cafe, Six Dots invites you to have a cup of tea or a coffee in a space completely designed and curated by local designers and crafters. Sit on chairs made in Peckham, eat with cutlery made in Walthamstow, and use plates, cups, and bowls made in Elephant and Castle. If inclined to purchase the various locally sourced items available for use at the cafe, they hosted a silent auction to make it yours. This project was created in the hopes of inspiring the neighbouring communities to become passionate about buying from local artists and designers.

Introduction to Ceramics: Coiling technique

Learn from Ruth María, an accomplished ceramist from Mexico as she teaches an introduction to how to use clay. She taught the process of coiling which involves shaping layers of coiled clay. Attendees made anything from candle holders to bowls, to tiny sculptures. A great way to learn a new skill if you’ve been curious about pottery and ceramics.

As seen above, London Design Week was chocked full of workshops, talks, and exibitions tailored for any interest. Over the years, design has transformed into something playful, and emotive as we distance design farther and farther away from the seriousness it once was known for. Design is for everyone, we hope to see you next year at London Design Week 2024.

Verified by MonsterInsights